I'm not one to make formal introductions and I'm not one hundred percent sure how to sound professional. I am who I am. No airs and graces, I'm just a regular girl from Leicester. I don't have a history degree/masters or PHD, infact I don't even have an English 'O' Level or History for that matter. I was one of those kids at school who enjoyed what I was doing at the time, if it interested me I took notice, if it didn't well I took no notice. Even my pre-school Nursery Teacher, Mrs Rule called me a 'Dizzy Blonde'.
I did find, not so long ago my School report from Abington High School. So instead of telling you what it said, you might as well read it. If you are viewing this on your mobile, all the images are at the bottom of the page.
It did improve, by the end of my final year I got a tick in the 'Excellent' box.
So here we go, this below is my attempt at a professional introduction.
My interest in Leicestershire history saw me spend over twenty years researching my family tree, in the process discovering that I am related through my maternal line to great grandfathers who were Freemen of the Town of Leicester, and through my paternal line to Tom Norman, the showman who exhibited Joseph Merrick, this led to in-depth research into the Merrick and Potterton families, and life in Leicester at the time Joseph was growing up.
I worked as a Verger at Leicester Cathedral for four years and during the week of Richard III's reburial I was part of the floral team responsible for the displays inside and outside the Cathedral assisting Royal florist Rosemary Hughes.
There is one memory I will take away from my experiences at Leicester Cathedral and that was verging the Royal procession, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip into the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday in 2017.
As well as local radio interviews and newspaper articles relating to my research on Joseph Merrick, in April 2018 I appeared alongside Michael Portillo in his new documentary series 'Hidden History of Britain' aired on Channel 5.
Hollywood Actor Julian Sands (thought i'd sneak this in)
In April 2019 I discovered the final resting place of Joseph Carey Merrick. Although Joseph's skeleton is at the Queen Mary Medical College in London, Joseph's remains had a Christian funeral and burial at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium. In June 2019, the officials at the cemetery placed a brass plaque on Joseph's grave. This discovery lead to a BBC Inside Out documentary on the discovery which further led to a campaign to raise money to have a statue erected of Joseph Merrick in his hometown of Leicester which then earned me a seat on the red sofa on BBC Breakfast.
I am available for talks and subjects include:
Peppermint Billy and the Toll Gate Murder 1856
Secrets of Hidden Leicester
Memories and Postcards from the Past
A Walking Tour of Leicester' (for those who can't make the actual tour around Leicester)
Joseph Merrick: The Elephant Man.
If you would like to book a talk or a tour of Leicester please use the contact form and get in touch.
**I am currently taking bookings for talks and all enquiries welcome, but tours will not be resuming during the current Covid-19 Pandemic**
On 13 March 2020, the 1980 film 'The Elephant Man' starring the late John Hurt will be re-released in cinemas.
Directed by David Lynch this truly wonderful film is fully restored in 4k definition. You can see a preview of the film in the Joseph Merrick tab on this web site.
This is my own copy of the new Blu-ray Ultra HD copy of The Elephant Man, together with the Collectors Edition Booklet which mentions my book.